The Schools of the Custody of the Holy Land provide an excellent education to over 15,000 students of all religions, incomes and abilities.
In the last 100 years the Christian population in the Holy Land has dramatically decreased, going from 70,000 Christians living in Palestine in 1922 (11% of the population), to 47,000 (1%) according to the 2017 census by the Palestinian Authority.
Perhaps the best hope for a continued Christian presence in the Holy Land are the Franciscan Schools of the Custody of the Holy Land.
The birth of Franciscan schools in the Holy Land dates back to the 16th century. The Holy Land School in Bethlehem is the oldest in the entire Middle East, and was founded in 1598.
To this day, schools under the leadership of the Franciscan friars serve children of all social and economic backgrounds, making it possible for new generations of Christians to remain in the Holy Land.
More than 11,000 students attend the friars’ 15 schools where they are taught by 1,000 teachers of all religions. The result is a “beautiful coexistence and ecumenical dialogue,” according to Br. Ibrahim Faltas, Director of Terra Sancta schools.
The schools prepare students for success in today’s highly competitive economy, and also serve those with special needs. Watch this video below to learn more about how the Franciscan schools of the Holy Land are the primary incentive for Christians to remain in the Holy Land.